The llama logo: Nature’s continuous security monitor
At Vanta, we’re the trusted source for continuous security monitoring, compliance, and all things related to SOC 2. But one question we receive frequently is, “What’s the deal with the llama?”
Well, did you know that llamas are used as livestock guards? It’s true - they’re incredibly valuable for monitoring farm animals and have been used for decades as such.
A single llama will bond quickly with its livestock and becomes particularly protective of the weakest members from larger predators. Known for being incredibly smart and easy to train, llamas require almost no guidance to be an effective security alarm. Using llamas as guard animals reduces the losses to predators for many farmers. The value of livestock saved annually outweighs the purchase and maintenance costs of a llama.
Granted, it’s doubtful you’re in the market for a farm security officer. However, it does shed some light into why we chose a llama as the symbol for Vanta.
The search for a continuous security symbol
How does one go about finding a logo that encompasses continuous security monitoring and compliance standards like SOC 2? “For branding, we wanted to go with living things over padlocks or whatever else security-themed -- something more fun and friendly than the standard security imagery,” says Ellen Finch, Software Engineer.
The search took a turn into the fairly obvious animal choices: Guard dogs, lions, grizzly bears, hippos, you get the gist -- animals that symbolically invoke fear. The problem with all these animal options is that continuous security monitoring and SOC 2 don’t have to be scary.
Quite the opposite, actually. “When software security is prioritized early with automation and monitored continuously, it provides peace of mind, not a sense of panic,” says Christina Cacioppo, Co-founder and CEO of Vanta. “We want companies to use a SOC 2 to prioritize their security early, not fear a SOC 2.” So, the frightening animals didn’t hit the right sentiment.
Why Vanta’s llama works
In addition to providing solid security, llamas are multipurpose animals. Llama wool is used around the world for clothing, blankets, furniture, ropes, and more. Llama dung is used as fertilizer, for starting and keeping fires going, and for insulating native shelters. Overall, llamas are like a one-stop-shop startup kit for living off the land.
Vanta’s security compliance platform is also versatile. Vanta provides the basic needs for startups to become successful with the tools and guidance to make it happen. We provide the easiest automation for SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPAA , and continuous security monitoring in the market in order for startups to focus on growing their business.
“Turns out that when you put a llama on everything, it pretty quickly becomes your brand identity, so now we're stuck with it - good thing it's a good mascot!” -- Ellen Finch, Software Engineer
“We wanted a mascot that embodied Vanta: protective, intelligent, multifunctional, cost efficient, and memorable,” says Cacioppo.
Like the llama, Vanta is like a one-stop-shop -- particularly for startups just beginning with security. We’ll help you get up and running with easy integrations and the knowledge we’ve retained from years of experience helping startups begin their security programs in order to help them grow their business.
Llama lovers: continuous monitoring with customers
- Chili Piper streamlines their annual SOC 2 monitoring and reporting process
- Belvo stays compliant all year
- Affinity reduces audit surprises by using Vanta’s automated, painless evidence collection
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PCI Compliance Selection Guide
Determine Your PCI Compliance Level
If your organization processes, stores, or transmits cardholder data, you must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), a global mandate created by major credit card companies. Compliance is mandatory for any business that accepts credit card payments.
When establishing strategies for implementing and maintaining PCI compliance, your organization needs to understand what constitutes a Merchant or Service Provider, and whether a Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) or Report on Compliance (ROC) is most applicable to your business.
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Identify your PCI SAQ or ROC level
The PCI Security Standards Council has established the below criteria for Merchant and Service Provider validation. Use these descriptions to help determine the SAQ or ROC that best applies to your organization.
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A SAQ A is required for Merchants that do not require the physical presence of a credit card (like an eCommerce, mail, or telephone purchase). This means that the Merchant’s business has fully outsourced all cardholder data processing to PCI DSS compliant third party Service Providers, with no electronic storage, processing, or transmission of any cardholder data on the Merchant’s system or premises.
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A SAQ A-EP is similar to a SAQ A, but is a requirement for Merchants that don't receive cardholder data, but control how cardholder data is redirected to a PCI DSS validated third-party payment processor.
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A SAQ D includes over 200 requirements and covers the entirety of PCI DSS compliance. If you are a Service Provider, a SAQ D is the only SAQ you’re eligible to complete.
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A Report on Compliance (ROC) is an annual assessment that determines your organization’s ability to protect cardholder data. If you’re a Merchant that processes over six million transactions annually or a Service Provider that processes more than 300,000 transactions annually, your organization is responsible for both a ROC and an Attestation of Compliance (AOC).
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Learn more about how Vanta can help. You can also find information on PCI compliance levels at the PCI Security Standards Council website or by contacting your payment processing partner.
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